I don't know why it's so important anymore...


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Evil Monkey
December 5, 2008, 11:26 PM
The "lack" of good ergonomics in the ak platform.

After watching some combat footage with US troops in Iraq and Russians/Chechens in Chechnya, soldiers who were changing mags were not obsessing over speed. Whether the rifle was an m4 or an ak, nobody seemed to be eager to switch mags in 0.5sec with the help of BHO, straight locking mags, free dropping mags, etc. Everything was deliberate. It seems like when you're not doing constant CQB, and have a crap load of fellow soldiers around you, ergonomic features have very little impact on how the rifleman preforms. I'd think that ergonomic features that speed up the mag change is really only useful for SWAT teams, home defense, and such. Of course, ain't nothing wrong with designing a rifle from scratch having good ergonomics to begin with.

I still think civilian G3 copies are retarded though. The lack of the original magazine catch ruins EVERYTHING!:D

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gvnwst
December 5, 2008, 11:29 PM
"Attention! No longer are good ergonimics needed!":neener::p

Actually, this is fairly intresting....

Logan5
December 5, 2008, 11:55 PM
I see your point. I mean, I'm having a cocktail and reading Jeff Cooper, but I see your point. ;)

Kind of Blued
December 6, 2008, 12:04 AM
Well, I've never been in combat, but I'd imagine ergonomics and .47 second mag changes are thrown out the window to some degree due to pucker factor.

C-grunt
December 6, 2008, 02:15 AM
Your mind would change dramatically if you were engaged in a room to room firefight and went dry.

Evil Monkey
December 6, 2008, 02:56 AM
Your mind would change dramatically if you were engaged in a room to room firefight and went dry.


I agree, I said that if the soldier/operator's job is primarily CQB work then it would be a big deal.

Then again, how much of a big deal is it when you have other troops with you clearing a room? Isn't it standard procedure that after a room has been cleared, you should change mags anyway in preperation for the next room if it's safe to do so?

I don't think it would be advisable to clear a room shooting who knows how many rounds then quickly breaching the next room without a full load of ammo in the rifle. Seems like common sense.

C-grunt
December 6, 2008, 03:20 AM
You are right that you should reload prior to clearing the next room. But many houses in Iraq are similar to US homes and have open floor plans, hallways and what not. Plus the bad guys are not always going to just wait in the next room. What if they start clearing the house too?

Ive never been in a "in house" firefight but Im sure it would suck big time.

The one thing you can count on in battle is the unexpected. Lots of these insurgents dont have any training, or really much knowledge of gun fighting at all, and will do what we consider stupid. Plus a lot of them are not afraid to die.

In the more common street or open country fighting (in my experience), I agree that rapid reloads are not that big of a concern.

HorseSoldier
December 6, 2008, 03:33 AM
After watching some combat footage with US troops in Iraq and Russians/Chechens in Chechnya, soldiers who were changing mags were not obsessing over speed. Whether the rifle was an m4 or an ak, nobody seemed to be eager to switch mags in 0.5sec with the help of BHO, straight locking mags, free dropping mags, etc.

A lot of times, speed doesn't matter so much. When speed does matter, though, it has a tendency to be one of those "you have exactly the rest of your life to get that weapon hot again" (or stoppage cleared, or whatever) sort of issues.

Everything was deliberate.

Another thing to consider is that if you're looking at footage of actual combat, you're seeing troops functioning at whatever their level of training is minus the physiological effects of life-and-death stress.

Jenrick
December 6, 2008, 04:43 AM
Well to be truthfull if your doing CQB profesionally, when your primary goes down you go to your secondary if you need to engage a threat ASAP. After the threat is taken care of you get your primary fixed and ready to fight. I don't care what you're reloading, it's faster to draw your secondary and engage with it.

Interesting point thought, I agree that on the general battlefield the lack of ergonomics isn't a huge issue. I think a good comparison would be clay shooting. Some people want a $25K H&H as it fits them, points the best, etc. and have the money. Some people are perfectly fine with a Wingmaster and cheap winchester shells. If you've got the money and the inclination you're going to find a reason to justify your purchase, beyond you want a $25K shotgun. Same with EBR's, some people are going to find a reason to justify there purchase that is tenuous at best.

-Jenrick

Deer Hunter
December 6, 2008, 10:18 AM
A lot of internet commandoes like to prattle on about ergos and how fast one can change a mag in a rifle.

In actual combat, I imagine it is a bit different, much like what you witnessed.

I'd much prefer less prattling and more range-time for all gun owners. But hey, that's just me.

leadcounsel
December 6, 2008, 10:27 AM
Yes, movements are deliberate and not rushed.

Don't forget that Soldiers in combat are exhausted, fatigued, thirsty, hungry, shellshocked, and likely have plenty of other Soldiers suppressing the emeny. No need to shave off 10 seconds in a mag change.

MTMilitiaman
December 6, 2008, 10:38 AM
I disagree that ergonomics are not longer important.

I just never found the AR to be that ergonomic, nor the AK to be that cumbersome. In fact, since being left eye dominant forces me to shoot left handed, I find the AK to be in many ways more ergonomic than the AR. Which is one of several reasons I prefer that platform to the AR.

Of course, nothing suits me better than an M14. That rifle is case and point proof positive of the advantages of proper ergonomics, IMO. No other rifle I've ever handled or shot points as well for me or makes it as easy for me to hit what I aim at.

Ergonomics are a large factor in how the rifle interfaces with the human component. This ability is crucial when your life depends on your rifle. So ergonomics will always be important for as long as humans are forced to interact with their weapons in order to use them.

HorseSoldier
December 6, 2008, 01:15 PM
Well to be truthfull if your doing CQB profesionally, when your primary goes down you go to your secondary if you need to engage a threat ASAP. After the threat is taken care of you get your primary fixed and ready to fight. I don't care what you're reloading, it's faster to draw your secondary and engage with it.

Depends on the range to the threat and other aspects of the situation. With practice, most guys can do a fast mag change and get another round off as fast or faster than they can do a transition and get a round off. There are situations where the threat is close enough to need immediate engagement but far enough away to be a low percentage pistol shot. For them, sticking with the long gun can be the better decision -- it's all situational.

JR47
December 6, 2008, 01:31 PM
Depends on the range to the threat and other aspects of the situation. With practice, most guys can do a fast mag change and get another round off as fast or faster than they can do a transition and get a round off. There are situations where the threat is close enough to need immediate engagement but far enough away to be a low percentage pistol shot. For them, sticking with the long gun can be the better decision -- it's all situational.

You are right that you should reload prior to clearing the next room. But many houses in Iraq are similar to US homes and have open floor plans, hallways and what not. Plus the bad guys are not always going to just wait in the next room. What if they start clearing the house too?

Your mind would change dramatically if you were engaged in a room to room firefight and went dry.

As stated, in CQB, the distance will rarely be a low percentage pistol shot. Short of engaging in one of Hussein's palaces, the ranges would rarely be over 15 yards, maximum.

The Soviet Spetznatz, or OMON, seem quite capable of equaling anyone else's magazine changing times. They are equivalently trained, and not conscripts.

Paladin_Hammer
December 6, 2008, 01:36 PM
I only know a few veterans who ever said they kept the weapon trained on target when they reloaded. Every 'Nam vet I've met said he got his head down and out of the Veitcongs line of fire when reloading.

Unless it takes more than 3-4 seconds to load your weapon, the idea of doing "tactical" reloading with an M4/M16 seems kind of ridiculous. It makes more sense to get out of the line of fire when your out of ammo than keep your head up and on target when the other guy is SHOOTING at you. He has ammo, you don't, therefor, get down.

But if the enemy is reloading when you are, I can see the merit of a tactical reload. But, if there are more than one bad guy(s), wouldn't you still keep your head down?

Girodin
December 6, 2008, 02:02 PM
I dont plan to use my ak in fire fight where I am surrounded by others on my side. I dont think I will ever need to use it in a firefight period but if I do I am likely to alone and thus the speed of a reload is more important in that situation.

This discussion has focused on the needs of soldiers. Their needs are not the same as mine. I hvae long said one can become pretty dang quick with an AK if they learn the tricks and practice. That said, I still prefer the superior ergos of other weapons I own and see the ergos of the AK as its major draw back. That doesn't mean it is not serviceable, simply that it could be better.

Evil Monkey
December 6, 2008, 04:41 PM
I think we can all agree that good ergonomics for a quick mag change is appreciated but is really made a big deal of on the internet.

On to other things, I think other forms of user freindliness are more important, such as a good cheek weld, balance of the weapon, LOP, etc. These features tend to help the user become more proficient in acquiring a target and destroying it.

From what I've experienced, even some of the new and "improved" rifles are lacking in good handling characteristics.

Jenrick
December 6, 2008, 04:54 PM
HorseSoldier: With practice, most guys can do a fast mag change and get another round off as fast or faster than they can do a transition and get a round off.

I disagree entirely. Maybe when you're talking stripped down 3 gun competition gear you can reload faster then you can transition. When your working out of real world gear, there is no way in heck you can reload faster then you can transition.

-Jenrick

HorseSoldier
December 6, 2008, 05:12 PM
I disagree entirely. Maybe when you're talking stripped down 3 gun competition gear you can reload faster then you can transition. When your working out of real world gear, there is no way in heck you can reload faster then you can transition.

Pointing out that you can do it body armor and full kit was a teaching point my old Group's SF Advanced Urban Combat committee demonstrated on a pact timer routinely when teaching on the flat range. That said, our kit set up did include some sort of open top ready mag pouch on the belt (copied from IPSC, originally, as I understand it) -- but that's the set up guys used and wore downrange for real, not just for playing on the range. Mileage may vary if only using stuff Big Army issues.

But, anyway, it's not the right answer for all engagements, but it can be done.

Also note, when I said do a mag change and get a shot off versus transition and get a shot off, please note that I said it depends on the range and the threat. I probably should have clarified better that I meant doing a transition, getting on your pistol sights, and successfully getting shot off gets slower as you stretch the range out, and at some point within reasonable pistol range it shifts towards the mag change and shot with the long gun. If the bad guy is at five meters the right answer probably isn't the same as if the guy is at 10, 15, or 20 meters -- though it depends on shooter ability both with the pistol and running the long gun.

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